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First Time Fasting

When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. – Nehemiah 1:4

Fasting – Painting by Deb BarnardMuch like Nehemiah, there have been times where I have been so distraught over current events that I have figuratively (or literally) sat down and wept. Often these events are ones where I feel I have little control or influence. A couple of years ago, one such event happened and I felt compelled to go beyond my usual manner of prayer and try fasting. I thought that maybe if I tried a deeper form of prayer and connection with God, my prayers would be heard and the outcome I desired achieved. 

I had recently learned about the Wesleyan fast, which seemed like a good place for a beginner to start: You fast from sundown one day until 3 p.m. the next day. I didn’t know what to expect, but decided to give it a shot. 

The experience was eye-opening. I went to work as usual that day and found myself thinking of God during moments I probably wouldn’t have otherwise. Every time my stomach grumbled, it was a reminder of what I was doing. I prayed a lot that day — in my car, during my lunch break, walking to a meeting — I felt closer to God that day than I may have ever felt before. 

I went home and checked the news to see if my day of prayer and fasting had worked. Had I somehow changed the outcome of an event I had little influence on? No. I remember staring at my phone, disappointed that I didn’t get what I wanted. I went to God in prayer again and this time, He answered. “Not yet. Maybe some day, but not yet.”

Fasting not only drew me into closer step with God, it also reminded me that God’s timing is perfect. He hears our prayers, but answers them according to His perfect plan. 

Prayer: Lord, thank you for spiritual disciplines that draw us closer to You. Help us to understand that Your plans and timing are perfect. Amen. 

About Roxanne Sutton
Roxanne Sutton is mom to Parker (5) and Mitchell (3), wife to Brodie, chair of the St. Thomas UMC Communications Committee, part of the behind-the-scenes Sunday morning livestream team, coffee lover and hobbyist baker. 

The Workroom Completed
The Benefit of Fasting
 

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Saturday, August 13, 2022

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